{Photo courtesy of Kaspersky}

By Nkatha Wainaina

Online shopping, the sweet and sour borderline addiction that might lead me to probable bankruptcy.
Remember the good old days when we would walk into a shop, survey what was on display, look at the items from all angles possible, bargaining to a price that even you know is a little too low because your mother taught you well, then finally taking it home with you? Aah simpler times.
Yes. I know the argument. Online shopping has made things so much easier and literally brings convenience to your doorstep (Someone should use that as a tagline for a delivery app. Call me for more marketing ideas). And I concur. For indecisive people, people who don’t like going outside unless they really have to, or those who don’t like the hustle and bustle of a market place, this has been a life saver. However, are the repercussions worth it?

I had refused to give into pressure from all the advertisements on my social media pages. Clearly, I gave in. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be writing this. I remember the first item I bought online. It was a lovely peach top that I thought could be worn on different occasions. If you haven’t seen how many shops advertise clothes, let me break it down for you. They fold tops at the bottom to form a v-shape, so you can’t really see how the bottom looks like or estimate where it would reach. Dresses are pinched at the waist to give a symmetrical shape. This is the most deceiving and slightly annoying thing out there. So my beautiful peach top turned out to be a crop top. This would not have been such a problem if I wore crop tops. It took me a whole year before I finally got the courage to wear it.

They say two times are enough to learn not to repeat a mistake. I’m afraid my dear reader, this has gone on far beyond two times. I got a stunning black and white checked dress that had rust stains on the white parts. The page, regardless of having thousands of followers, ignored my complaint and refused to reimburse me.

I bought an oversized dress that now sits patiently in my closet, waiting for me to get pregnant so that I can wear it as a maternity dress. I must get my money’s worth!

I walked around Nairobi looking a for a shop that was advertising good looking leather boots for a suspiciously low price, only for the shop to turn out to be a front for coning gullible ladies with an eye for gorgeous boots. I am glad I hadn’t paid for them yet! My sister bought a cupcake baking tin from an overseas shop for a price that was so low she couldn’t let the opportunity slide. The baking tin surely did arrive, but it was part of a child’s plastic play set.

These are all experiences I have witnessed first hand and yet I can’t stop buying things online. I mean, the experiences aren’t all bad. I have gotten a couple of decent purchases online.

In the age of mobile banking, we have access to all the money we have and don’t have at the palm of our hands. This gives me the impression that I can buy whatever I want, whenever I want. This is a problem because when I log into my social media accounts, the algorithm ensures I see new items that I would like based on my previous post interactions. This is why I’m worried that my guilty pleasure will make me bankrupt.

Send me tips on how I can control this. At least I have the first step to recovery down. Acceptance right?

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